Venue: Anglia Room, The Conference Suite, Elizabeth House, Dereham
Contact: Committee Services Tel: 01362 656870
To confirm the minutes of the meeting held on 21 May 2015.
The minutes of the meeting held on 21 May 2015 were confirmed as a correct record and signed by the Chairman.
Apologies (Agenda Item 2)
To receive apologies for absence.
Apologies for absence were received from Councillors Crawford, Duffield and Hewett.
To receive any announcements and to note events attended by the Chairman and Vice-Chairman.
The Chairman had attended a Sports Day experience which had been an excellent day, as had a sports day at the Fred Nicholson School in Dereham.
Members were reminded that the Transition workshop would be held on 15 July and encouraged all Members to attend.
The Chairman informed Members that he would be holding his Civic Reception on 30 September and a Carol Service on the 14 December. He would be grateful to receive raffle prizes for these events to help raise money for the Chairman’s charity of the year.
Leader's Announcements (Agenda item 4)
To receive a verbal update from Councillor Wassell, Leader of the Council.
The Leader had attended a recent Local Government Association (LGA) Annual Conference; the main topics included Devolution, Health and the Financial outlook.
Following the recent budget announcement, work was underway analysing the impact on Breckland and its residents. Some of those announcements included a Public Sector pay rise limited to 1% per annum.
Sunday trading hours could be devolved to the Local Authorities and Elected Mayors but the detail and implications of this were still unknown.
Further planning reforms were to be announced where it was thought the development of Local Plans would be made much simpler and faster; further details were expected shortly.
A National Living Wage of £7.20 per hour would be introduced in April 2016, rising to £9.00 per hour by 2020. All employees at Breckland were currently above this level.
Members and Officers would be considering all implications of the budget and how this could affect the residents of Breckland.
The Riverside project at Thetford was progressing and a time lapsed camera could be accessed using the Breckland Bridge Website – www.brecklandbridge.co.uk.
The Tour of Britain cycling race would be coming through the District this summer and Breckland was offering grants of up to £500 for groups to organise activities which brought together local communities and encouraged visitors to the area.
Councillor Gilbert asked if there would be a full Member briefing once the Planning reforms were known. The Leader said he would ensure that this would take place.
Councillor Jermy said he was grateful for the introduction of the National Living Wage, and asked what could Breckland do to encourage others to follow suit.
Mr Wassell said that this would become a statutory right, and therefore employers would have no choice but to adhere to the National Living Wage with effect from April 2016.
Mr Joel said he was pleased that Breckland would be part of the Tour of Britain cycling race. Old Buckenham had organised a village event to celebrate this with cycling racing around the village green, a fun-fair and beer tents would also be available to make it a fun day out for all.
Mr Rogers mentioned that Bennetts had asked for an extension to the Section 106 agreement for at least another year, and this should not be allowed.
The Chairman said that whilst this did not form part of the Leader’s announcement, the comment would be noted.
Declaration of Interests (Agenda Item 5)
Members are reminded that under the Code of Conduct they are not to participate in the whole of an agenda item to which they have a Disclosable Pecuniary Interest. In the interests of transparency, Members may also wish to declare any other interests that they have, in relation to an agenda item that supports the Nolan principles detailed within the Code of Conduct.
Councillor Smith referred to Page 20, Item D, of the Planning Committee Minutes 26 May 2015, and said whilst it was not his application, he did have an interest in this.
Unconfirmed minutes of the Cabinet meeting held on 9 June 2015.
a) Revenue Full Year Financial Performance 2014-15 (Minute No 54/15)
RESOLVED that the actual out-turn of £248,000 be contributed to the Organisational Development Reserve to fund the Transformation Programme.
b) Proposed Disposal of Land at Fairfields, Thetford, (Minute No 55/15)
Councillor Jermy said he had intended to attend the Cabinet meeting on the 9 June, but had not been able to as he had been unwell. He felt that the disposal of this land caused great concern to those on the Fairfield estate as this was leading to the lack of open space.
Whilst the unexpected income was being realised he hoped that the Council would be supportive if a new play area could be identified within Thetford.
Councillor Wassell said that all grants would be considered by the Council through the grants process. He added that in reality the Council did not have any choice with this decision as County Council would have acquired the land using its compulsory purchase powers.
Councillor Borrett added that the piece of land would be used for the local infant school, and therefore would be of a huge benefit to the residents within Thetford. He wanted Members to be clear that this was a win, win situation.
Councillor Hollis raised concern that no consideration had been given to the road on the Fairfield estate as the school was in a cul-de-sac. Councillor Wassell suggested she forwarded her comments to the County Councillor.
RESOLVED that the unconfirmed minutes of the Cabinet meeting held on 9 June 2015 be adopted.
Planning Committee (Agenda Item 7)
RESOLVED that the confirmed Minutes of the Planning Committee meeting held on 26 May 2015 be adopted.
RESOLVED that the unconfirmed Minutes of the Planning Committee meeting held on 22 June 2015 be adopted.
Unconfirmed minutes of the Special General Purposes Committee meeting held on 24 June 2015.
a) Review of the Economic Development Function (Minute No 40/15)
Councillor Jermy said that Economic Development was an important function to the Council and felt disappointed in the lack of strategic direction to ensure that Economic Development moved forward.
Councillor Wassell said that Economic Development still existed and would continue to work throughout the District bringing funding and opportunity to the District.
Councillor Millbank added that it would be a smaller team.
Councillor Cowen pointed out that the landscape in which Economic Development operated had changed because of the funding streams that were available. The Council was still committed to growth in business and that the strategic direction was currently under development. The Transformation workshop would help to shape the direction.
Councillor Wassell said a position had been added to the Senior Management restructure which would focus solely on the income and prosperity of the District.
The Chairman highlighted, particularly for new Councillors, that all Members were entitled to attend any committee meeting and encouraged them to do so.
Councillors Jermy and Hollis voted against the recommendation.
1. The proposed structure as illustrated at Figure 2 of the report be approved; and
2. Authority be delegated to the Head of Paid Service in consultation with the Leader to take all such consequential subsidiary and incidental action as may be required. The authority to include approving any redundancies and early retirements.
RESOLVED that the unconfirmed minutes of the Special General Purposes Committee meeting held on 24 June 2015 be adopted.
Unconfirmed minutes of the Appeals Committee meeting held on 17 June 2015.
The Chairman of Appeals thanked Members who attended the meeting as part of their training, and also encouraged other Members to do the same.
RESOLVED that the unconfirmed Minutes of the Appeals Committee meeting held on 17 June 2015 be adopted.
Unconfirmed minutes of the Licensing Committee meeting held on 3 June 2015.
RESOLVED that the unconfirmed Minutes of the Licensing Committee meeting held on 19 June 2015 be adopted.
Unconfirmed minutes of the Audit Committee meeting held on 19 June 2015.
a) Annual report of the Audit Committee (Minute No 26/15)
RESOLVED that the content of the Annual Report of the Audit Committee be noted.
b) Treasury Management Performance Report 2014/15 (Minute No 27/15)
1. the actual 2014/15 prudential indicators be approved
2. the Treasury Management Stewardship report for 2014/15 at Appendix B and Appendix C of the report be noted.
RESOLVED that the unconfirmed Minutes of the Audit Committee meeting held on 19 June 2015 be adopted.
Report of the Executive Director – Strategy & Governance.
The Interim Executive Manager Governance presented the report.
The Local Authorities (Standing Orders) (England) (Amendment) Regulations 2015 were brought into force on 11 May 2015.
All Local authorities were required to introduce amended Standing Orders by the first ordinary meeting of the Council.
The key changes, which were required by law, related to the involvement of two independent persons in disciplinary proceedings against statutory officers (Head of Paid Service, Chief Financial Officer and Monitoring Officer) which could result in dismissal.
All of the statutory posts were shared and disciplinary matters were dealt with by a Joint Committee with South Holland District Council (SHDC). As such, each Authority could meet the requirement by inviting their respective Independent Standards appointees to any Joint Appointments and Disciplinary Committee dealing with such matters. SHDC had already approved similar changes to its Standing Orders.
Whilst the Regulations removed certain requirements such as a limit on the time for suspension of a statutory officer, it was considered that the current Standing Orders relating to these matters represented best practice and therefore should be retained.
Councillor Smith said he felt the wording of Standing Order 59 (page 45 of the agenda) should be altered.
Councillor Monument suggested that the wording should be:
Standing Order No. 59
1. Appointment of the Joint Head of Paid Service is subject to approval by the full Councils following consideration of the recommendation of such an appointment by a Joint Committee or Sub-Committee of the Councils…..
Councillor Nunn asked how the Standing Orders differed to those of South Holland District Council. The Interim Executive Manager Governance explained that SHDC did not have Standing Orders as they followed employment procedures which were slightly different. However, in this instance, the provisions were identical.
RESOLVED that subject to the amendment noted above the recommendations be approved as listed in the report.
Report of the Chief Executive.
The Interim Executive Manager Governance presented the report and asked Members to formally designate the position of Monitoring Officer.
1. Maxine O’Mahony, Executive Director for Strategy and Governance be designated as Monitoring Officer to Breckland Council.
2. The new designation would be effective from 9 July 2015.
Nominations for Committee and other Seats (Agenda Item 14)
To receive nominations for any changes to Committee and other seats from Political Groups:
Councillor Wilkinson to replace Councillor Dimoglou
Councillor Dimoglou to replace Councillor Wilkinson as Substitute
Joint Appointments Committee
Karen Pettitt to replace Elizabeth Gould
Tristan Ashby to replace Karen Pettitt
Mark Robinson to replace Tristan Ashby as Substitute
Mark Robinson to replace Karen Pettitt
Rhodri Oliver to replace Mark Robinson as Substitute
Tristan Ashby to replace Karen Pettitt as Substitute
Woodland Trust (New Outside Body Appointment)
To appoint Councillor Marion Chapman-Allen to the Woodland Trust
Councillor Hollis asked to replace Councillor Taylor on the Licensing Committee.
It was noted that the nomination under the Joint Appointments Committee, should be for the Joint Appointments Appeals Committee.
1) Councillor Wilkinson replace Councillor Dimoglou on the Audit Committee and that Councillor Dimoglou replace Councillor Wilkinson as Substitute.
2) Councillor Pettitt replace Councillor Gould on the Joint Appeals Appointments Committee.
3) Councillor Ashby replace Councillor Pettitt on the General Purposes Committee and Councillor Robinson replace Councillor Ashby as Substitute.
4) Councillor Robinson replace Councillor Pettitt on the Licensing Committee and Councillor Oliver replace Councillor Robinson as Substitute.
5) Councillor Pettitt be removed from the Appeals Committee and Councillor Ashby replace Councillor Pettitt as Substitute.
6) Councillor Marion Chapman-Allen be appointed as the Council’s representative on the Woodland Trust.
7) Councillor Hollis replace Councillor Taylor on the Licensing Committee.